I Have a Yong Suster (anonymous Medieval English riddle-poem, circa 1430) translation by Michael R. Burch
I have a young sister Far beyond the sea; Many are the keepsakes That she sent me.
She sent me the cherry Without any stone; And also the dove Without any bone.
She sent me the briar Without any skin; She bade me love my lover Without longing.
How should any cherry Be without a stone? And how could any dove Be without a bone?
How should any briar Be without a skin? And how could I love my lover Without longing?
When the cherry was a flower, Then it had no stone; When the dove was an egg, Then it had no bone.
When the briar was unborn, Then it had no skin; And when a maiden has her mate, She is without longing!
This poem was sung in the movie "Animal House" by a college troubadour played by Stephen Bishop. A toga-clad John Belushi destroyed his guitar! Keywords/Tags: riddle, medieval, Middle English, young, sister, cherry, stone, dove, bone